The Importance of Fully Knowing the Hair Type of your Child
Do you understand the importance of fully knowing the hair type of your child? It is so critical! Knowing their hair type will help you easily choose which kids hair products to choose for them, or how to cut and style their hair for the best overall look! In this article, we break it down very clearly for you. Some of this information will probably be new for you!
The Importance of Fully Knowing the Hair Type of your Child – Opening Thoughts
So, how well do you really know your child’s hair? I ask because kids hairstyles and kids hair products look and react differently on their particular type of hair. Specifically,
- hair type
- hair texture
- porosity of hair
- hair elasticity
- sebum production of the scalp
are unique for every human being. Fully knowing all of them for your child will enable you to help them look their very best! Let’s take a closer look at each to guide you along.
The Importance of Fully Knowing the Hair Type of your Child – Hair Structure
It is important to begin with a refresher of your high school biology and anatomy class! Let’s take a quick dive into the basic structure of human hair.
The Importance of Fully Knowing the Hair Type of your Child – Hair Type
Knowing your child’s hair type is the very first step in being able to select the best kids hair products for them. Further, this knowledge will enable you to choose the right kids hairstyle and get the most beautiful presentation possible. This is achieved via the various styling techniques and hair care products available to optimize their locks.
There are actually four (4) main hair types.
- Coily / Kinky
Madison Reed actually provides expert tips on caring for each of them. I will include the links at the end of this article.
If you are unsure what hair type your child is, here is a simple test you can try. Leave it free of products for a day or so. Next, give it a good wash with shampoo and conditioner. Finally, let it air dry. Upon drying, if it dries completely straight, then your child has straight hair.
If there’s a natural wave to it that doesn’t completely curl up, your child has wavy hair. Conversely, if it does curl up with larger curls, then they have curly hair. Finally, if the hair curls up with very tightly wound curls, your child has coily or kinky hair.
Now that you know the hair type of your child, you can choose hairstyles based on their type. Also, you can select the right kids hair products!
The Importance of Fully Knowing the Hair Type of your Child – Hair Texture
Now that you know all about hair type, the next step is identifying your child’s hair texture. Further, lots of moms and dads don’t think of hair texture, or thickness as a factor of hair type. But it definitely is! This characteristic of hair strongly affects how your hair holds different hairstyles and hair products.
In case you weren’t familiar, there are actually three main hair textures.
Hair texture has but one determining factor – the diameter of each individual strand of your child’s hair. A common misconception is when parents confuse hair density with diameter. For example, a child with fine hair can have lots of it, but it is considered “fine” nonetheless. Don’t confuse thin hair with fine hair!
The Importance of Fully Knowing the Hair Type of your Child – Fine Hair
Fine hair typically lightens very easily. When your child gets to an old enough age to color it, if they have fine hair it will also process very quickly. The bad news is that it is more vulnerable to chemicals than other textures, and thus susceptible to damage and getting over processed.
At a young age, it is most important to keep harmful chemicals away from your child’s hair, even when it comes to kids hair products! Choose products that are organic or all-natural so you can ensure their hair grows healthy and strong into adulthood. Finally, fine hair requires less styling to hold it in place. Less is more regarding kids hair products, so you can avoid unnecessary waste by applying it sparingly!
How do I test if my child has fine hair? Very easily! Simply cut a six inch long piece of sewing thread, and lay it on your bathroom counter top. Next, brush your child’s hair and pull an individual strand from the brush. Finally, lay the strand next to the sewing thread. If your child has fine hair, the strand will be significantly thinner than the thread.
The Importance of Fully Knowing the Hair Type of your Child – Medium Hair
Medium hair is exactly what it sounds like. It is the mid-range of hair diameter, and is thicker than fine hair yet more easily manageable than coarse hair. The great thing about medium hair is that it does not have any special considerations or vulnerabilities either way, and can hold most kids hair products. Further, most hairstyles will also look great with medium hair since it is not prohibited or vulnerable to certain styles like fine and coarse textures. Finally, medium hair is fairly easy to style and holds its shape longer than fine hair.
How to test if your child has medium hair? You can use the same hair strand / sewing thread test mentioned earlier. If the strand is equal in diameter to that of the thread, their hair is medium. If you don’t have sewing thread available, simply take the strand of hair and rub it between your thumb and index finger. Fine hair will barely (or not at all) noticeable to touch. If you can feel the hair, but not extreme to the touch, your child’s texture is medium!
The Importance of Fully Knowing the Hair Type of your Child – Coarse Hair
Coarse hair is the thickest range of hair diameter. It has the largest circumference, and as such, is slower to absorb product or color. Again, once old enough to color their hair, tell them to expect long processing times. Coarse hair is also more resistant to chemical treatments such as permanents and straightening. Finally, coarse hair is the strongest, and most difficult to damage. It is not as susceptible to chemicals or toxins as fine or medium hair.
You can test your child for coarse hair by comparing a strand to the sewing thread. Coarse hair will appear thicker than sewing thread. If you rub between your fingers, you will be able to feel a strong, thick strand.
Coarse hair is typically the most difficult to style. Be sure to select a barber or stylist who is experienced with coarse, thick hair. Like very fine hair, when styling, there is less margin for error. Coarse hair styling is also normally more expensive than the other textures, as it is more time consuming.
There are brands and models of kids hair products that are made specifically for thick, coarse hair. Check out our article on the Best Kids Hair Products 2018 for more information!
The Importance of Fully Knowing the Hair Type of your Child – Hair Porosity
Porosity is a measure of the void, or empty spaces in a material. In this case, we are talking about your child’s hair. It is calculated scientifically by taking a fraction of the volume of voids over the total volume. The percentage that results is the porosity of your child’s hair. The lower the number, the less porous it is.
The Importance of Fully Knowing the Hair Type of your Child – Testing the Porosity of your Child’s Hair
Without having to earn an engineering degree, we can test this simply by seeing how a strand of their hair floats! If the strand of hair sinks immediately, your child’s hair is most likely highly porous. If it floats, your child’s hair is not porous.
Typically, the more porous the hair, the more moisture it needs to stay healthy. Blondes are generally more susceptible to hair porosity than brunettes or red heads. For more porous hair types, conditioning hair and adding moisturizers like coconut oil is essential.
The Importance of Fully Knowing the Hair Type of your Child – Hair Elasticity
The scientific definition of elasticity is the ability of an object or material to resume its normal shape after being stretched or compressed. Regarding your child’s hair, elasticity is essentially an indicator of how healthy it is. Further, elasticity is an indicator of how manageable your child’s hair is to style.
The Importance of Fully Knowing the Hair Type of your Child – Testing the Elasticity of your Child’s Hair
For a simple test, gently stretch your child’s hair to see how “flexible” it is. If it breaks right away, your child’s hair elasticity is low. Conversely, if it stretches to a considerable length (50% of its original position), then their hair is highly elastic. For a final health check, begin relieving the pressure on the ends to see how well it returns to its original form.
For children’s hair with low elasticity, it is imperative to avoid chemical or toxin induced products at all costs. As your child ages, be sure to buy products with strengthening treatment. Matrix Biolage makes some good products for this, and even aids in treating split ends!
The Importance of Fully Knowing the Hair Type of your Child – Sebum Production of the Scalp
Understanding the chemistry of your child’s scalp is also very important for ensuring healthy hair throughout their lives. A child’s sebum is the oily secretion of the sebaceous glands sitting right below their face and scalp. It is the gland most responsible for cradle cap in newborns. Further, the health of this gland contributes to acne and other skin conditions later in life.
It’s important to understand the degree of oiliness of your child’s scalp so that you can pick out the best kids hair products to keep the scalp healthy and balanced.
The Importance of Fully Knowing the Hair Type of your Child – Testing the Sebum Production of your Child’s Scalp
In order to test the oil production of your child’s scalp, simply give the hair a good wash with a kid-friendly shampoo. Next, wait a day and give their scalp a thorough inspection. If it is greasy, they have an oily scalp. Or, if it looks about the same, you child’s scalp is fairly balanced. Finally, it is dry, you will notice flakes or dandruff.
A majority of children have an oily scalp and dry ends. Most adults fall into this category as well, as the further the hair travels from the scalp, the less natural moisture available to it. At early ages, organic and all natural products are the best recipe, avoiding harmful chemical and toxins. As your child gets older, pick out a volumizing shampoo for use at the root near the scalp, with a hydrating conditioner from the mid strands of the hair to the ends.
The Importance of Fully Knowing the Hair Type of your Child – Conclusion
Once you fully know the hair type of your child, you will be able to shop for the best kids hair products for them much more easily! Further, you will also have a stronger grasp on which hairstyles to select for them early on, and recommend haircuts and hairstyles for them to pick for themselves later in life.
None of this information is a secret. It’s basic science, and I’ve provided some very easy tests for you to use to determine the degree to which your child has the different hair types. To further aid you, most kids hair products will clearly label which hair type their particular product is made for. Finally, you will be most confident mixing and matching products across the various kids hair product categories to assemble the ideal system for their total hair care.
In closing, I’ll let you know that this information will also make you more educated and informed upon your next visit to the kids salon or beauty shop. As they say, the best consumer is an educated consumer.
The Importance of Fully Knowing the Hair Type of your Child – Book an Appointment
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The Importance of Fully Knowing the Hair Type of your Child – Supplemental Links
Thanks for checking out our article, “The Importance of Fully Knowing the Hair Type of Your Child.” As promised, be sure to check out these cool links from Madison Reed to better understand the major hair types:
All You Need to Know About Straight Hair
Wavy Hair – All You Need to Know
All You Need to Know About Curly Hair
Coily Hair – All You Need to Know